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February 5, 2012

Micron CEO dies in plane crash

Steve Appleton's plane came down at Idaho airport; COO Mark Durcan takes over

By Vinod

Steve Appleton, CEO of chip maker Micron, has died in a plane crash, the company has announced.

Appleton died after the small plane he was piloting crashed at an airport in Boise, Idaho, where Micron is headquartered. He was 51.

"Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time," the company said in a statement. "Steve’s passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large."

Appleton joined Micron in 1983 straight out of Boise State University. He quickly rose through the ranks and became CEO in 1994 at the age of 24, making him the youngest on the Fortune 500 at the time.

"Steve was a visionary and a true leader in our industry. He will be deeply missed by the entire semiconductor community and our prayers and thoughts are with his family," Brian Toohey, President of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement.

Micron has announced that president and Chief Operating Officer Mark Durcan will take over the CEO role until a successor is appointed by the Board of Directors.

"Steve was a true friend who will be dearly missed by all of us," said Durcan in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our team members as we all grieve this tragic loss."

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